How to Treat Cracked Hands
Cracked hands can develop as a result of extreme weather, particularly in the winter. Over-washing your hands can also dry your skin out to the point of cracking. Treating these areas can be difficult because applying anything that has a drying agent in it, including topical antibiotic ointments, will make the problem worse. According to "1,801 Home Remedies," many people have found that a cream originally meant for cows' udders does the trick. Called bag balm or udder cream, this ointment is available in natural foods stores and agriculture supply shops.
Rinse your hands under warm water and pat them dry gently with a soft, clean towel. Do not use soap on your cracked hands. The ingredients will only irritate them. You don't need to use an antibacterial agent because the cream contains a disinfectant.
Slather the bag balm or udder cream onto your hands, paying special attention to the cracked areas. Make sure there's a thick layer covering the most damaged sections.
Slip a pair of white cotton gloves over your hands. These will keep the cream in place. Leave the gloves on overnight, or at least eight hours, to make sure your hands reap the benefits of the deep moisturizer.
Remove the gloves and wipe the excess lotion off your hands with a soft towel. Don't wash them, which could rinse off some of the beneficial moisturizer that will protect your hands throughout the day.
Repeat the treatment nightly for as long as necessary. If the cracking is weather-related, most people find that they don't need the balm during the spring and summer months.
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